Problems with nasal turbinates are common sources of sinus and respiratory issues that can cause congestion, difficulty breathing, and other symptoms.
The nasal cavity is divided into two nostrils, each lined with turbinates – bony structures that help filter air as it passes through the nose.
In addition to traditional treatments such as medications and surgery, several alternative treatments may help reduce the symptoms associated with nasal obstruction and turbinates.
To help patients better understand issues associated with nasal health, I’m here to discuss the anatomy and physiology of the nasal cavity, the causes of nasal obstruction and turbinates, and potential treatments.
By understanding the underlying causes and potential treatments, we can better manage nasal obstruction and turbinates and reduce your associated symptoms.
Understanding Turbinates and Their Role in Nasal Health
Turbinates are three small bony structures lining the nose’s inner walls. These structures are essential to how we breathe, as they help warm and humidify air and filter out dust and other particles.
When turbinates become too large, they can create a range of nasal problems.
What Causes Turbinates to Become Too Large?
Turbinates can become too large due to allergies, infections, or other environmental factors.
Allergies are a common cause of enlarged turbinates, as they cause the turbinates to swell. Other causes of enlarged turbinates include colds or flu, smoking, and environmental pollutants.
What Can Be Done to Reduce Enlarged Turbinates?
Before considering any surgical option, exploring non-surgical methods of treating enlarged turbinates is crucial.
Allergy therapy, such as nasal steroids or antihistamines, may help reduce the turbinates’ size. Over-the-counter oral antihistamines and allergy shots may also be beneficial.
If these methods fail to reduce the size of the turbinates, then structural changes may be necessary.
These may involve using a small camera to look inside the nose and using either a needle heated with radio frequency energy or another instrument to physically remove the matrix of blood vessels that makes up the turbinates. In some cases, a combination of these techniques may be used.
It’s important to note that the size of the turbinates may need to be judged on a case-by-case basis.
This is because someone may have both a crooked nose and enlarged turbinates, and the amount of reduction necessary will vary from person to person.
Benefits of Reducing Enlarged Turbinates
Reducing the size of enlarged turbinates can provide a range of benefits.
It can help to reduce –
- Difficulties with nasal breathing
- Risk of sinus infections
- Risk of a dry nose
First Steps to Relief
To correct enlarged turbinates, we must confirm that this is the issue causing problems.
Once we know your unique situation, we can develop an improvement plan.
Schedule your ear, nose, and throat consultation here to take the first step to relief. If you have any other questions regarding sinus or ear issues, please call us immediately.
We are always ready to help in any way we can.